By Segun Giwa
Akure – Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has approved the recruitment of 1000 teachers to fill vacant positions in the state’s primary education sector.
The State Head of Service (HoS), Mr Dare Aragbaiye, disclosed this on Tuesday in Akure, during a press conference he addressed alongside leadership of the organised labour Unions.
According to Aragbaiye, the governor also approved the employment of 432 health workers to fill in the personnel gap in the primary health sector of the state.
The head of service said the governor gave the approval for the recruitments as part of his commitment to repositioning the public service in the state.
“In spite of the paucity of funds, the Governor has approved the recruitment of 1,000 teachers with B.Ed. and NCE qualifications, that is, 200 vacancies for candidates with B.Ed. while 800 are for NCE holders.
“The recruitment exercise, which shall be school based, that is, for specific schools, will start within the next two weeks,” he said.
Aragbaye, who advised the prospective candidates to visit SUBEB portal for further information on the recruitment in the next two weeks, maintained that the government was ready to fill the wide gaps in the teaching sector.
He said the state government had started feeling the effects of COVID-19 lockdown, as the government was now indebted up to N3.46 billion borrowed from commercial banks to settle workers’ salary related issues.
Aragbaye attributed the indebtedness to the dwindling resources in the last few months, especially from the federation account.
“For instance, a total sum of N4. 2 billion was received as allocation for the month of April 2020, while the wage bill amounted to N4. 72 billion.
“It, therefore, means two months allocation would be required to conveniently pay one month’s salary.
“Therefore, the State in its wisdom has decided to pay net salaries and then wait for funds to accumulate before paying/remitting the deductions.
“This administration will prioritise the payment of deductions within the next few weeks.
“As at April, 2020 the State is indebted to Commercial Banks to a tune of N3.46 billion on salary related issues,” he said.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole; the TUC Chairman, Helen Odofin and the JNC Chairman, Niyi Fabunmi, had sought immediate payment of outstanding workers’ deductions for the past four months.
The labour leaders who also commended Akeredolu’s administration for offsetting six months salary arrears inherited from his predecessor, said they had submitted list of their demands to the state government for action.